Key worker banned from the roads despite appeal to court

A KEY worker employed by a medical company that has manufactured millions of coronavirus tests during the pandemic, has been banned from driving for three months.

Paul Williams had put forward an exceptional hardship argument after appearing at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court this week charged with speeding.

The 40-year-old father had previously admitted speeding on the A470 near Newbridge-on-Wye on September 17 last year. Williams was caught travelling at 42 miles per hour in a 30mph zone in his BMW.

Before magistrates on Wednesday, March 3, Williams, of Craig y Pandy, Llanwrthwl, near Rhayader, argued that he faced exceptional hardship if he were to be handed three or more points on his licence as he already has 10 points for a drunk in charge conviction from 2018.

Williams was questioned under oath by his solicitor Imran Majid at the hearing and told magistrates he had relocated to Radnorshire so he could visit his two children from the previous relationship, who live in Swansea, as well as commute for work across the UK.

Williams, head of sales for a medical diagnostics company, said: “I’ve been supporting companies during the global pandemic, we’ve manufactured millions of Covid-19 tests since the start.

“As part of my role I visit clients in Newcastle, Southampton and Cambridge as a key worker. I’ve sat on the government’s rapid test consortium as an expert.

“I couldn’t service my customer base using public transport and there is no-one else in the company who could fill my shoes. Over 10 years in the industry I’ve built up a network of customers, who when the pandemic broke out, were the first to call me asking for help.

“I’ve worked throughout the pandemic, putting myself at risk. A lot of people rely on me.”

Williams added that his children would also suffer if he was disqualified from driving as he sees them every weekend.

Chair of the bench, Ingrid Gallagher, said they did not find exceptional hardship in terms of Williams’ job but did so in terms of his children.

They handed him a reduced disqualification of three months. He was also ordered to pay a £295 fine, as well as a £34 surcharge and £85 costs.

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader